Travelodge to outride recession – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

28 January 2008 by
Travelodge to outride recession – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

Travelodge to outride recession
TravelodgeThe Observer, 27 January

Aikens strikes out for sustainable fishing
Michelin-star chef Tom Aikens, who has just been awarded his fifth AA rosette, will be turning eco-warrior on behalf of the world's dwindling fish stocks for his third venue, the seafood-based Tom's Place, which opens shortly in 1 Cale Street, Chelsea. Fish will be mostly line-caught to avoid the devastation caused by trawling and will come from sustainable, Marine Stewardship Council-approved sources that include small, family boats in Newlyn, Plymouth, Hastings, Lowestoft and Peterhead. Threatened cod and haddock will cost £12 and £11.50, and haddock will rarely be on the menu. Aikens will be promoting less familiar and less threatened species such as grey and red gurnard, and megrim sole fillets. Aikens will use his restaurant as an educational tool for the public and has produced a one-inch-thick booklet on the fishing industry for customers. - The Observer](, 27 January

Capricorn snaps up 25% of Clapham House Capricorn Ventures International - the current owner of the Nando's chicken chain and former owner of PizzaExpress - has sparked takeover speculation after raising its stake in the Clapham House restaurant group from 24.93% from 18.4% early last week. Capricorn acquired an 11% holding last month after Clapham House issued a profit warning that sent its shares tumbling from 249p to 150p. Cinven, which controls the PizzaExpress and Ask restaurant chains, is also believed to be eyeing up Clapham House. Observers suspect Clapham House is considering selling its 24 Tootsies restaurants, which have suffered a drop in footfall, to restart expansion of its Gourmet Burger chain. The group's shares rose by 7p to 223p as investors anticipated a full takeover bid. - [The Times](, 26 January

Trocadero owner builds up secret stake in Whitbread
Asif Aziz, the property magnate who owns London's Trocadero, has been unveiled as the owner of a secret 8% stake in Whitbread, the leisure group that owns Premier Inn hotels and Costa Coffee. Aziz is believed to have held the stake, made up of complex derivatives called contracts for difference held by Crédit Agricole, for more than a year. In common with many leisure stocks, Whitbread shares have plunged 40% since last summer. They closed on Friday at £12.36, valuing the group at £2.2b. - [The Sunday Times](, 27 January

Wine duty plea as costs soar The Wine and Spirit Trade Association has asked the Treasury to freeze wine and spirit duty in the March election because prices are set to soar by about 10%. It blames poor grape harvests in Australia, soaring energy and transports costs, and rising prices for raw ingredients such as grapes, molasses and grain. Spirits and grape-based drinks such as brandy and tequila are all set for sharp rises in costs. The association pointed out that price rises for wine and spirits have risen by 21.5% since 1999 compared with the 32.6% rise in the Retail Prices Index. - [The Sunday Times](, 27 January

Moorfield interested in Regent Inns Property investor Moorfield is understood to be one of the potential bidders for Regent Inns, owner of Walkabout bars and Jongleurs comedy clubs. Private equity firm Alchemy Partners is also believed to be interested in acquiring the leisure group. - [The Sunday Times](, 27 January

By Angela Frewin

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